Need help for hard to fit feet - extremely swollen diabetic feet

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My MIL has impossible feet to fit. Last year I spent an entire day and traveled about 200 miles to visit nearly every specialty shoe store in our area only to find that she could not be fitted with shoes - her feet are just too fat and swollen (bunions, too!). She has forgotten this trip and wants to do a repeat performance - which I refuse to do.

We have also done the orthopedic shoes from the podiatrist - expensive - and she refuses to wear them. She says they 'hurt' her feet - we think she just thinks they are ugly. Unfortunately, what else do you do for ugly, swollen beyond belief, feet?

She is diabetic and SHOULD wear shoes at all times and she doesn't. Her feet are a mess. She still crams them into a 15 year old pair of lace ups that have sort of 'stretched with her' over the years - but they are nearly worn out. Her feet just sort of hang over the tops.

She gets these magazines in the mail and wants to order shoes from them. We have tried that a couple times and I have also ordered shoes from a couple times - but we must always send them back - losing money on postage each time. She just cannot wear a normal shoe anymore. That's what she wants and it just isn't possible anymore. Her arch is nearly 5 inches high - with swelling. Her feet look like little fat clubs - like she is walking on 4x4's..

If any one knows where a person can find some fashionable looking stretch fabric/lycra shoes for impossibly hard to fit feet - she would need an 8.5 and VERY WIDE and the height of the shoe is also a problem due to the swelling.

Her foot doctor has talked until he is blue in the face.


I have had the same problem with my mother with extrememly swollen feet and ankles from water retention and she also has a toe that crosses over the other, making it impossible to find shoes. I searched everywhere and found shoes she loves and are comfortable and they FIT.!!!

Of course I don't know what style your MIL wears, but I found these shoes in the Dr. Leonard catalogue - it is a discount healthcare catalogue. The shoes are made by Dr. Scholl, which has always been a good brand. They are described as comfortable, high-performance shoes that are perfect for walking, and exercising. They resemble sneaker/shoe all in one. And what so excited to me after all the long searching, they carry extra-wide widths. They come in navy blue, tan and white and are kind of a leather fabric cost between $26 and $36. These are the best I could find andshe loves them and says they are so comfortable. They also have a velcro flap the adjust to where you want to fit properly.. If you want anymore information, just ask me. They have been a life saver for me and her as they were impossible to find. Hope they might work for your MIL. Take care and good luck.
I have a Dr. Leonard catalog and can also access the catalog and order online. I have looked at quite a few shoes and I am very afraid that even the widest ones will not fit my mother in law. Her instep is VERY high - at least 4 inches and shoes just don't come ready made that fit except the ones she got from her foot doctor. If it is big enough to go over her instep - then it is too big and slips up and down on her heel. It's just an impossible situation - and she isn't willing to accept it as such yet. :-(
I've gotten some nice shoes from my podiatrist, but his office only carries on line of shoes. What I've found to be more effective is to buy from an Orthodtics & Orthotist office. They have catalogs from at least a half dozen companies. And the Certified Prosthetist & Orthotist is an expert at fitting deformed feet and well as more ordinary needs. He has even converted my husband's last-years shoes to bowling shoes for him.

Yes, specialty shoes are expensive. My insurance paid just a small amount toward them, but once I hit Medicare, they are completely covered if you have diabetes, as your MIL does. This is a great benefit, and it is based on the fact that foot problems in diabetics can be very costly, and the prevention of wearing suitable shoes is well worth the investment.

So, there is a potential source for comfortable, supportive shoes, fully covered by Medicare. That's the good news. The bad news is your MIL's expectations. She needs shoes that can be customized by a professional and she wants shoes out of fashion store. Sigh. That will be the hard part.

Yes, she should wear shoes all the time. My diabetes doctor insists that I wear water shoes from the locker to the swimming pool and even in the pool! No bare feet or open-toed sandals for diabetics! Buying out of a catalog is just a joke, and you've discovered that traveling to all the local stores is futile. I don't know how you get MIL to accept it, but stand your ground.

Good luck!
Ooops ... the office is for Orthotics and Prosthetics. Once you've found one and have ordered a pair of shoes, bring in the pair that hurts. Their specialist may be able to make adjustments to improve their comfort.
I really don't know a whole lot about this. I have heard of congestive heart failure in many people and this causes swollen feet. One night I was on my PC in one spot for quite some time and I am in perfect health, and my feet swelled up like balloons, It hasn't happened since, It was because I was sitting stationary too long. Salt intake may have been a cause as well as sitting without movement.
She is very good at sitting without movement :0) We will see her primary doctor on Wed. and we must address the swelling issue - she has had swelling for some time but not as bad as it is now. Yes, she thinks she should be able to go to the store where she purchased her lace ups (15 years ago) and walk out with another pair! She forgets that she had stretched and stretched and stretched these.

She was fitted for new shoes at the podiatrist's office and just refuses to wear them - period. They are truly the ONLY shoes that will actually go onto her deformed feet properly and give her proper support. She doesn't want support - she wants what she wants. We see the foot doctor again next week - I will take the shoes back to him and see if there is anything he can do to address her complaints about them 'hurting' her feet. She also claims they are heavy and they are light as a feather. They are just much bigger than what she has worn up to this point and she does not like them.

She also does not lift her feet anymore and I think she is afraid she will trip or stub the toe of the shoe because they are much bigger.
Try Zappos. They have a good variety of shoes in extra wide. Good luck!
When I said that buying shoes from a catalog was a joke, I only meant for people with deformed feet. I hope I did not offend catalog shoppers! And for those of us with diabetes and Medicare, getting our shoes through a podiatrist or Certified Prosthetist & Orthotist also includes some customization and is covered by insurance! I've seen some Drew shoes I like in a couple of different catalogs. I know my CPO carries Drew so I'll ask his opinion of the ones I like when I go in for my shoe fitting in a couple of weeks.

Oldcodger, I sympathize with your MIL. I started wearing orthopedic shoes when I was 39 and I quickly got over mourning for fashion shoes. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do. The shoes available to me now are much more attractive and comfortable than they were a quarter of a century ago! I sure hope you find some help with the swelling and with locating suitable shoes.
I ordered something from one of her catalogs - she insisted. I was Dr. Leonard's. I know I will have to send them back - but we do what we must to try and keep people happy, right? :0) Her doctor put her on a diuretic to try and get the swelling down. Now she says she is nauseous and more dizzy - so, we will try this for a week and see if things improve.

Because of her very high instep and the thickness of her foot from top to bottom - the 'cuter' Mary Jane's, etc. won't work for her. She is stuck with the HUGE clunky ones - and they ARE huge. She can't understand why she can fit into her little 'Soft Spots' from 15 years ago and can't fit into nicer looking ortho shoes. :0( I even tried ordering new Soft Spots and we couldn't get them on her feet - even in a size larger than the ones she has now.

We just keep trying................ In the meantime, I will take these big boots (as she calls them) back to the ortho doctor. If he won't refund (which I seriously doubt he will do since she has worn them 3-4 times) we may just 'donate' them or even try eBay.
I went to a podiatrists with a foot issue years ago. Then some years back I injured by back and ended up in physical therapy. The physical therapist did more for my feet that the podiatrist ever did. You might want to check with your MIL's doc and get a referral to a PT. Maybe they have more to offer.

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